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Hands on with webOS 3.0.2 [video]
by Derek Kessler on 8/1/2011 | Filed Under: News, Apps; Tags: - none - | 71 comments

So, we’ve downloaded and installed webOS 3.0.2 68, and here’s what we’ve found plenty of small improvements and additions to webOS on the HP TouchPad (as you should expect from a x.x.2 update). Here’s what we’ve got:

Email is significantly smoother. Seriously, it’s noticeably faster. There’s not much more to say about that, it’s just plain better. Okay, there’s more to say: there’s a fun little “Email by webOS” post office stamp graphic when you don’t have a message loaded and your Drafts and Outbox folders can now be managed more than one message at a time.

Calendar has gained the ability to be search via Just Type, and can we just say “Finally!” Searches search all calendar entry fields: event title, location, and notes. Tapping an event will open the Calendar app to the appropriate day and load the event details pop over. Correction: Just Type searches into the Calendar are faster now. You can understand our confusion - it was so slow before we weren't even aware it was there.

The Music app has received a much needed facelift that brings it in line with the styling of webOS 3.0, and thank goodness for that. The layout is generally the same, and at least for this blogger, the app is finally detecting the music loaded onto the TouchPad. Photos & Videos has received a small but welcome new feature, and that’s the ability to set your wallpaper from within the app. Just tap on the more options button at the bottom right of any photo and it will allow you to set the currently viewed picture as your wallpaper, no muss, no fuss.

Text Assist has been updated to be faster and more accurate, as well as gaining main much-missed contractions. While we were having difficulty getting it to work in the web browser (see video after the break), that’s just because we were trying it in search fields. Once you move on to non-search fields, it works just fine (as well as in other apps as well). It’s a relief to not have to worry about whether or not don’t had the apostrophe automatically put in (yeah, we’re lazy typists).

There are also two new apps that we told you about a few weeks back that HP neglected to mention in any posts about the webOS 3.0.2 update: Calculator and Clock. Both are pretty basic ports of their webOS 2.1 cousins. Calculator is as basic as they come, though HP took the step of condenscing all of the science-y buttons onto one screen instead of hitting the space bar to switch views. Clock combines the Exhibition Mode clocks of the TouchPad with the alarm-setting capabilities of the Pre. They’re pretty basic, but it’s good to have them installed for when they’re inevitably needed. Still missing: Tasks.

Across the board webOS seems a touch snappier, but that's generally how things are after an update. Additionally, many pop-up dialogs (like file attachments in Email) and entry scenes like a new or edited event in Calendar have been made wider to take advantage of the space available on the TouchPad. Overall, it's a nice little update that should solve some of the problems that some users have had since the TouchPad launched just one month ago. Video of it all is after the break.

[YouTube link for mobile viewing]